Supporting Educators and Promoting Quality Instruction

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Teachers are by far the most important in-school factor in determining whether our students succeed and our nation’s schools improve. An ever stronger and more sophisticated body of scholarship confirms what parents have long suspected: Highly effective teachers help children soar, while ineffective teachers actually hobble students’ chances for success. That's why ensuring that our teacher force is as strong as possible and that we don’t keep assigning our weakest teachers to the children who most need our strongest are absolutely critical to boosting overall achievement and closing the longstanding gaps that separate low-income students and students of color from their peers.

With concerted attention being given to upgrading teacher evaluation systems, the culture and work environments of struggling schools require equal focus if student learning is to improve. "Building and Sustaining Talent: Creating Conditions in High-Poverty Schools That Support Effective Teaching and Learning" describes the urgency of making high-poverty, low-performing schools satisfying, attractive places to work, and how some schools and districts are doing it.

Recent Actions

For more information:

Additional items of interest:

  • Ed Trust and ten other organizations representing teachers, administrators, chief state school officers, and business and community groups sent a letter to the House and Senate appropriations committees supporting the recommended $400 million for the Teacher Incentive Fund 2014, a program designed to implement performance based compensation for teachers and principals.
  • Ed Trust joined a coalition to support the STELLAR Act, which would provide funding for robust, fair, and high-quality evaluation systems in high-poverty schools. Read Ed Trust’s letters of support for the bills introduced by Reps. Susan Davis and Jared Polis, and Sen. Mary Landrieu.
  • Recently, Ed Trust and over 30 other organizations sent a letter to Secretary Duncan urging swift administrative action on developing regulations for “high quality” teacher preparation programs (under Title II of the Higher Education Act). Although consensus was not reached during the formal negotiated rulemaking process the Department held to develop regulations, the letter underscores that negotiators did unite behind the idea of tying teacher preparation program quality to the student outcomes of their graduates, including outcomes for students with disabilities and English Language Learners. The letter asks the Department to release its draft regulations for formal and detailed comments in order to move forward to final rulemaking.   
  • Check out Ed Trust’s Teacher Appreciation Week graphic on Facebook.
  • Be sure to check out three of our publications: “Fighting for Quality and Equality Too,” “What States Can Do to Improve Teacher Effectiveness,” and “The Value of Value-Added Data.”
  • Read Ed Trust–West’s report “Learning Denied,” about the lack of teacher equity in the Los Angeles Unified School District, our nation’s second-largest school district.
  • Read “Poised to Lead,” which examines the role school counselors can play in supporting students and promoting equity.
  • Check out Getting it Done, the latest in a series of books by Ed Trust’s Karin Chenoweth and Christina Theokas, which examines successful leadership in schools that promote and sustain superlative achievement among low-income students and students of color. To go deeper, view one of the webinars in our school leadership webinar series.
  • Read our state-specific summaries of the teacher evaluation provisions in the accepted waivers from: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.